Ken, yes it's a real review published in The Fieldstone Review. This is a
section from my article for The Modern Review:
"Twit twit twit
Jug jug jug jug jug jug
So rudely forc'd.
Eliot's richly allusive passage, which refers to the Greek story of
Philomela, who was changed into a nightingale after having been raped by her
brother-in-law Tereus, contrasts sharply with Bachinsky's relatively
“Witt witt witt
Guj guj guj guj guj guj
Record duos fly
Re: e, tu”
To be fair, Bachinsky herself seems fairly objective about her achievements.
Seemingly unaware that her book was questioning "the status of poetic
language" she said unpretentiously, "They are just games, really." She is
not responsible for Lynes' praising her parody, "Lead the Wants," as "a
madcap translation of Eliot's 'The Wasteland' and its "logical conclusion."
Lynes, however claims Bachinsky’s riff earns her a place “in the company of
Eliot himself,”as if by slashing the Mona Lisa one could acquire Leonardo’s
genius. (Note to Lynes: Eliot's title is three words: "The Waste Land.")
"Who among us would have the courage to translate 'The Wasteland'?" Lynes
asks, as if poets all over the world have not been doing just that since the
poem first appeared. But Bachinsky it seems was only having a bit of fun
with Old Possum's text; she never claimed to be the second coming of Eliot."
From: Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Eliot Parody
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 12:20:39 -0500
Is this for real? If so, it is pitch perfect self parody, so bad it could
not be rendered any more comical:
"Bachinsky should be lauded for raising big questions. We should also
applaud her sheer moxie - who among us would have the courage to translate
Someone quite that whinnying horse. Defamilarization, anyone?
At 08:59 AM 11/13/2006, you wrote:
>Dear listers: any thoughts you have on the following will be most
>appreciated. I am so apoplectic about this reviewer's inane comments on
>Eliot I cannot think. I am reviewing Bachinsky for The Modern Review. Note
>where Lynes says Bachinsky's riff on TWL puts her in the company of Eliot
>himself. Give me strength! Diana Manister
>The Fine Art of Collage or; T.S. Eliot Hits the Mosh Pit: Curio: Grotesques
>and Satires from the Electronic Age by Elizabeth Bachinsky
>Curio: Grotesques and Satires from the Electronic Age. Elizabeth Bachinsky.
>Toronto: BookThug, 2005. ISBN 0 9737181 8 8. 111 pp. Pbk.
>Published under Jay MillAr's very cool BookThug imprint, Elizabeth
>Bachinsky's Curio is an energized, endlessly inventive, often brilliant
>collection - a memorable collage of shifting poetic stances and rhetorical
>Curio seems strongly invested in a critique of language and literary
>tradition. The range of diction in these poems is wild, the diversity of
>influence deliciously idiosyncratic. How often have we seen John Milton and
>Lisa Robertson acknowledged between the same covers? Bachinsky's
>willingness to range fearlessly through history sets her writing apart -
>or, at least places it in the company of equally daring poets like
>Robertson, Maine's Jennifer Moxley, and Eliot himself. Bachinsky's poems
>also remind me, at times, of work by American writer Karen Volkman.
>Bachinsky forages through the past, defamiliarizing contemporary poetic
>language in poems like "She is Blond Sin." I love the linguistic cognitive
>dissonance and sly eroticism created here when words like "dandy kid"
>(evocative of the nineteen forties Jimmy Stewart movies) and "wanton hidden
>clit" (a morphing of archaic and contemporary diction) bump up against each
>other and share poetic proximity. Curio is an exciting linguistic mosh pit
>of language derived from the past five hundred years.
>Bachinsky's "Lead the Wants" is a tour de force, a madcap 'translation' of
>Eliot's "The Wasteland," one of the great collage poems in western
>literature. Bachinsky's poem, with its inclusion of K-Mart and R.E.M.
>seems, in a way, the logical conclusion of "The Wasteland." To cite two
>examples from Bachinsky:
>O O O O shat takes pear he tang hi -
>Witt witt witt
>Guj guj guj guj guj guj
>Record duos fly
>Re: e, tu
>I have to admit, it took me awhile to discover Eliot's "O O O O that
>Shakespeherian Rag" from Bachinsky's "O O O O shat takes pear he rang hi"
>(and even longer to track down Eliot's Shakespeherian riff to Ziegfeld's
>Follies of 1912). But echoes emerge; we begin to hear the past. Same with
>Eliot's transplanted classical bird calls - "Twit twit twit/Jug jug jug jug
>jug jug," transplanted still further by Bachinsky as "Witt witt witt/Guj
>gujâ€¦." etc. Language is historicized, contextual. T. S. Eliot's
>"Wasteland," which sounded so strange to most of us who first studied it as
>undergraduates, comes to appear normalized, in time. Is this - ending up in
>a kind of linguistic suburbs - the fate of all poetic language? Hopefully
>not since, as Pound said, the poet's job is to 'make it new'. As part of
>her procedure for making it new, Bachinsky's driving questions seem to be:
>what can the status of poetic language be in the age of K-Mart, R.E.M., and
>the electronic revolution? Can the poet create anything more than a
>collage? What happened to Keats' well-wrought urn (or was that only ever a
>dream?). Will the Tower of Babel tip once and for all in the electronic
>age? Is the poetic past destined to be relegated to the status of mere
>Curio? Will the electronic revolution democratize language, or destroy it?
>Bachinsky is, I think, more interested in the process of exploring these
>questions than answering them - and, since she's a poet, I think this is as
>it should be.
>Bachinsky should be lauded for raising big questions. We should also
>applaud her sheer moxie - who among us would have the courage to translate
>"The Wasteland?" For poets of my (slightly older) generation, Eliot's poem
>remains too canonically enshrined to touch. I don't think Bachinsky's
>conversation with Eliot in Curio shows disrespect; if anything, it bodes
>well for the future, bespeaks a revitalized dialogue, suggesting as it does
>that Canada's new poets are willing to venture where some of us more
>tyrannized by canonicity (and a residual colonialism? We just assumed Eliot
>was British, he seemed British!) dared not go. Great to see our new wave of
>poets decolonize their imaginations. Elizabeth's Bachinsky's
>'conversations' with literary tradition, an integral part of Curio, are
>lots of fun. Her willingness to engage in them carries forward the energy
>of some of Canada's most interesting poetry; George Bowering has had some
>pretty nifty conversations with Keats and Rilke, to cite only one example.
>Elizabeth Bachinsky is one of our new bright lights. Next year, I'm going
>to assign my college students "The Wasteland" by Eliot and "Lead the Wants"
>by Bachinsky. I can't wait already.
><http://g.msn.com/8HMAENUS/2749??PS=47575>Use your PC to make calls at very
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